JULY 16, 2019 — Ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno slammed the Duterte administration for downplaying the Filipino fishermen’s account of the Recto Bank incident.
Sereno condemned the Philippine government for failing to defend the Filipino fishermen from China over the ramming of F/B Gem-Ver 1 by a Chinese vessel.
“This government did nothing but downgrade the stories of the fishermen,” said Sereno.
“It’s not just the truth that they are destroying, it’s destroying the dignity of our fellow Filipinos,” she added.
Sereno also insisted that investigators should have immediately asked for the side of the accused after learning of the fishermen’s first-hand accounts.
On June 9, the fishermen recounted, a Chinese vessel rammed fishing boat Gem-Ver 1 and abandoned the 22 Filipino fishermen aboard it.
Two fishermen sought help from a Vietnamese crew aboard a fishing boat to bring the rest of the Filipinos to safety.
President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed the sinking of the Filipino fishing boat as a “maritime incident,” an apparent echo of the statement of Beijing that described the alleged ramming as an “ordinary maritime incident.”